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Percussion Bitter Sweet

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Album Review

This CD reissue brings back a classic album, one of the finest of drummer Max Roach's very productive career. The illustrious sidemen (trumpeter Booker Little; trombonist Julian Priester; Eric Dolphy on alto, bass clarinet, and flute; tenorman Clifford Jordan; pianist Mal Waldron; and bassist Art Davis, in addition to some guest percussionists) all have opportunities to make strong contributions and Dolphy's pleading alto solo on "Mendacity" is particularly memorable. Abbey Lincoln has two emotional and very effective vocals, but it is the overall sound of the ensembles and the political nature of the music that make this set (along with Roach's Freedom Now Suite) quite unique in jazz history.

Customer Reviews

Reasons to buy this album (beyond the review)

1. Booker Little's solos (if only he had stayed around longer to give us more)
2. Mal Waldron's solos ( he could milk a riff better than any pianist I've heard)
3. The sheer power of Max Roach's drumming
4. Garvey's Ghost (Listen!)
5. The whole album is incredible
6. Somebody give me an "amen" so we can get someone else to check this music out.


Awesome lineup and political relevance.




Born: January 10, 1924 in New Land, NC

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

In a profession star-crossed by early deaths -- especially the bebop division -- Max Roach was long a shining survivor, one of the last giants from the birth of bebop. He and Kenny Clarke instigated a revolution in jazz drumming that persisted for decades; instead of the swing approach of spelling out the pulse with the bass drum, Roach shifted the emphasis to the ride cymbal. The result was a lighter, far more flexible texture, giving drummers more freedom to explore the possibilities of their drum...
Full Bio